SYRCL Welcomes New Board Members

Over the last several months, the SYRCL Board of Directors have welcomed three new members to their ranks, and they’re giving a boost to SYRCL’s capacity in advocacy, fundraising, operations, and land management.

Syd Brown

“I’ve been a member of SYRCL since the very beginning.”

Syd moved with her husband Jesse to Nevada County in the early 1980s. Shortly after arriving, she learned about the Miners Tunnel small hydropower project proposed on State Park land, which would have dammed a portion of the South Yuba River. She started attending public meetings and that’s how she met Roger Hicks (one of SYRCL’s founders) and saw how SYRCL got its start as a grassroots organization fighting to save the Yuba from dams.

For 32 years Syd enjoyed a career with California State Parks, and for the bulk of her time there she was the agency’s only geologist. Across the state she worked on general plans, policy development and interpretive geology. Later on she became involved in watershed restoration and rehabilitating newly acquired parks; dam removal on park lands really piqued her interest.

The first summer after retiring from Parks, Syd volunteered for SYRCL as a River Ambassador. Yet, when the Centennial Dam proposal emerged, she really threw herself into SYRCL’s efforts to get community members educated and engaged. She started attending Nevada Irrigation District (NID) board and committee meetings and became a “Dam Watchdog.” Eventually her fellow “Watchdogs” Peter Burnes and George Olive asked her to consider joining SYRCL’s board. For Syd, it was an easy decision knowing the organization for so long. Her interests, values, and philosophy have always been aligned with those of SYRCL. In addition to SYRCL’s board, Syd also serves on the board for the Sierra Gold Parks Foundation.

Pam Morey

“Joining the SYRCL board is my version of walking my talk and truly living my values. It’s like a dream.”

In 1994, Pam was standing on the Hwy 49 Bridge looking upriver and thought, “I want to be by this – it’s where we’re going to raise our family.” Then she and her husband Chuck moved from Santa Cruz to North San Juan in 1996 and raised their three children by the Yuba. According to Pam, her entire life revolves around the river. She sees it every day when she drives to her office at Coldwell Bankers (where she’s worked for 15 years). She and Chuck are members of Gold Country Fly Fishers. And she created the Bridge of Giving event, which invites the community to come to the Hwy 49 Bridge the first Sunday in November to support the local food bank.

Pam really became involved with SYRCL by helping with smaller fundraising events, which inspired her to join the Emerald Circle Giving Society. And she’s a huge fan of the Film Festival. Now, in addition to serving on the board, she’s a key member of the newly formed Fundraising Committee.

Fran Murphy

“I liked working the venue logistics for the Film Festival because I love to manage chaos.”

Escaping the busy life of Sacramento, Fran and his wife purchased a 5-acre homestead in Penn Valley in 2005 and began Clarran Farms. In addition to summer fruit and vegetables, they grow lemons, oranges, limes, kumquats, and grapefruit. Fran lives 15 minutes from the entrance of the South Yuba River State Park and enjoys taking in the scenic views of Buttermilk Trail and appreciating the majestic oaks while hiking Point Defiance.

In his previous life, he worked for a large telecommunications company for more than 36 years and retired as an Associate Vice President of Operations. He first heard about SYRCL on a Hank Meal’s hike which inspired him to start volunteering in the office. Then he got involved with the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, where he served as the Venue Logistics Manager for the last several years. In addition to first-hand knowledge of the Film Festival, Fran brings expertise in operations, organizational oversight and management to the SYRCL board.

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